BATON ROUGE – The McNeese State University Presidential Search Committee will begin advertising nationally next month with an eye towards interviewing semi-finalists on campus in April, and the Grambling State University Presidential Search Committee decided to pause search activities to allow for its interim president time to continue to stabilize the university. Both committees met in Baton Rouge this week.

McNeese Presidential Search

Advertisements for the top position at McNeese State University will appear in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher EducationInside Higher Ed, the Baton Rouge Advocate and the Lake Charles American Press, as early as March 7. The advertisement, adopted by the search committee on Thursday, names a priority application date of April 5, 2010.

The committee also approved the University of Louisiana System to engage search firm, R.H. Perry & Associates, to assist in identifying top candidates for the position. The Washington, D.C. firm has worked with public and private higher education institutions across the country including Centenary College of Louisiana, the North Dakota State University System and the University of Pittsburgh.

A tentative timeline has the search committee selecting semi-finalists early in April and conducting on-campus interviews in mid- to late-April. The search committee would then select at least two candidates to recommend to the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. 

The Board will conduct finalist interviews in Baton Rouge before naming a new president. This could take place as early as the regularly scheduled Board meeting on April 23, but could possibly happen in May or June. The goal is to have a new president for McNeese State University prior to the June 30 retirement of current president Robert Hebert.

The 13-member search committee is comprised of UL System Board Members Paul Aucoin, Elsie Burkhalter, E. Gerald Hebert, Renee Lapeyrolerie, Jimmy Long, Sr., Russell Mosely, Carl Shetler, Winfred Sibille, Student Board Member Steven Jackson and McNeese faculty representative Linda Larson.  Non-voting members are McNeese Student Government Association President Tim Rye and community representative Bob Davidson.  UL System President Randy Moffett serves as the non-voting chair.

For more information about the search, visit


Grambling Presidential Search

At its meeting this morning, members of the Grambling State University Presidential Search Committee unanimously agreed to pause the search process in order to allow Interim President Frank Pogue time to continue to stabilize the university. Reasons cited for this move included accreditation, budget, staffing, and a need for stability.

The formal motion presented by search committee member and University of Louisiana System Board Chair Winfred Sibille and seconded by search committee member and Board Vice Chair D. Wayne Parker called for a pause in the process and charged UL System President Randy Moffett to come back to the committee with a detailed recommendation on how to move forward.

Parker opened discussions on slowing-down the process. “We all know we have some problems at the university with communication, budget issues, and several accreditation visits coming up. Dr. Pogue is a great communicator, has a track record of going into difficult situations and making a real difference. To me, we’ve got a good person there right now. For him to complete the job he has started, we need to slow this process down,” said Parker.

This week, Grambling completed its site visit by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In March, the university will undergo a site visit by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and April will see site visits by both the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). 

“Accreditation is critical, and you want to make sure you have someone stable there during that process. That will set the stage for someone to come in with all those issues resolved,” said Committee and Board Member Edward Crawford.

“The atmosphere at GSU is moving in a positive direction. People are coming together. The business side, community and alumni are willing to unify with Dr. Pogue. We realize we do have some problems, but it is nothing that can’t be fixed with a team effort. I believe we do need to consider slowing down the process,” said community representative Wilbert Ellis.

While there was discussion surrounding an option of foregoing the process and selecting Pogue as the permanent president, the committee decided against that action.

“I agree that Dr. Pogue has changed the feeling on campus, but I don’t know if the interim status will allow him to be effective” said Grambling SGA President and UL System Student Member Steven Jackson. 

“I don’t think it is fair to the Grambling community to just appoint Dr. Pogue, even if we like him. We should go through the process. However, as chair of the Board’s finance committee, I am very concerned a search would be distracting from the hard work that needs to be done. I like the idea of having Dr. Pogue at the university to sort that out,” said Board Member Andre Coudrain.

“I’m probably three minds on it. Grambling has problems that would be unfair to lay at the feet of a new president. This issue of stability is a huge one. A lot of Grambling alums feel we have the leader we need. But, we need a formal process because there are people of another mind, and there needs to be buy-in,” said Grambling faculty representative Matthew Ware.

“I don’t think we have to worry about the effectiveness of Dr. Pogue. He has no problem finding good people, as evidenced by some of his recent hires, and he has done a good assessment of what needs to be done at the university,” said Committee and Board Member Mildred Gallot.

“We have a great committee that serves in an advisory role to the Board. We take our mission very seriously, and we take the opinions of the public very seriously. We will continue this process, but not act as quickly in order to address some of the challenges at the university,” said Committee and Board Member Jeff Jenkins.

Next steps call for the Grambling Presidential Search Committee to receive a recommendation from Moffett on how best to proceed. Once the meeting has been schedule, it will be posted on the special search website,

The 11-member committee is comprised of University of Louisiana System Board Members Elsie Burkhalter, Edward Crawford, Mildred Gallot, Jeffrey Jenkins, Jimmy Long, Sr., D. Wayne Parker, Winfred Sibille, Student Board Member and Grambling Student Government Association President Steven Jackson and Grambling faculty representative Matthew Ware.  Wilbert Ellis serves as a non-voting community representative, and UL System President Randy Moffett is the non-voting chair.